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Revd Preb Paula Hollingsworth Appointed Chaplain to St Paul's

St Paul's is pleased to announce that the Revd Preb Paula Hollingsworth has been appointed Chaplain at the Cathedral. Paula currently serves as Vicar of Priddy and Westbury sub Mendip with Easton, Dean of Women’s Ministry for the Diocese of Bath and Wells, and Sub Dean of Wells Cathedral.

Paula grew up in Bristol, studied Maths at Durham University and taught in Ugandan secondary schools through the Church Mission Society in her early twenties. Ordained as a deacon in 1991, she was amongst the first group of women ordained as priests in Wells Cathedral in 1994. Following a curacy in Somerset, she has held a variety of half-time parish roles in an inner-city parish in Birmingham and villages near Leicester and Wells, alongside other roles which have included training CMS Mission partners, supporting and training clergy and lay ministers, tutoring and being a chaplain on ordination training courses. For the last 20 years Paula has been very involved in Spiritual Direction - offering direction and supervision, and training new spiritual directors. An MA in Christian Spirituality, completed in 2007, fuelled her passion for Literature and Spirituality and in 2017 her book 'The Spirituality of Jane Austen' was published by Lion Hudson.

Paula loves the Arts in all their forms. She also loves being outdoors and aims to walk a long distance footpath every year. She greatly enjoys history, exploring new places and meeting and engaging with people of all ages.

The Revd Canon Tricia Hillas, Pastor of St Paul’s, said: “With substantial experience of parish ministry and as Sub Dean of Wells Cathedral, which have included working with the staff and pupils of the schools in her parishes and leading services for Wells Cathedral School, Paula is extremely well placed to make a significant contribution to the life of St Paul’s as its next Priest Vicar and Chaplain. Entirely committed to the well-being of others, Paula brings a gracious, thoughtful, wise and encouraging presence and we are absolutely delighted that she is joining our community.” 

Speaking of her new appointment, Paula said: “I am enormously excited by this role and am so looking forward to being a part of St Paul's Cathedral, St Paul's Cathedral School and the Diocese of London. It is a very people-oriented role, and I look forward to getting to know and, when appropriate, supporting Cathedral and School staff and volunteers, school children and their parents, and the many Cathedral visitors, worshippers and pilgrims. I haven't lived in London since my twenties, and currently live in a village on the Mendip hills, so I know I will be beginning a very different life, but am very much looking forward to all that living in London and being a part of the St Paul's community will give me.”

The Chaplain works within the team of clergy who serve St Paul’s and has day to day responsibility for the pastoral care and support of Cathedral staff, volunteers, regular worshippers and the pupils, staff and parents of the Cathedral School. The Chaplain also has a distinctive liturgical role in contributing to key pastoral services such as Confirmations, Diocesan services, school services, the Chrism Mass and commemorations for Cathedral staff.

Paula is expected to take up her role at the Cathedral early next year.